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UKGail

Having Problems With Fat Absorbtion?

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Hi I am quite new to the forum and have been very appreciative of all the supportive information given by current and past posters to us newbies, so thank you all.

I have been gluten free for just over a month after persuading a rheumatologist that my "polymyalgia rheumatica" plus an ESR (SED rate) of 100 was due to familial celiac disease, and that I needed a gluten free diet rather than steroids. I also gave him an article published by Dr Peter Green mentioning that he had seen 2 cases of exactly that presentation. I test negative to the celiac blood tests.

My symptoms (going back 25 years) have been mainly neurological, with only grumbling abdominal pain, and periodic episodes of major abdo pain, sickness and diaorrhea (still can't spell it!), but this changed just a month before going gluten free, when my digestive system seemed to just give up the ghost. At the same time I developed skin rashes which seemed to have an element of photosensitivity (not blistery like the DH rash).

Going gluten free has been a huge relief, with a great reduction in many nasty symptoms, but have been battling nausea, lack of appetite, some non-gluten foods seeming to bring out skin rashes and tingly skin/muscles, and alternating C and loose stools. I quickly discovered that eating very plain unprocessed foods was the way to go, at least for now, and trying to cut out potential other nasties mentioned on this board (but not completely successfully in all cases). I have been very strict with the gluten free bit, and have tried my best to avoid cc in a kitchen shared with a messy husband and 2 teenagers.

Whilst most of this seems to be gradually settling down, the one thing which is really bugging me is whenever I eat any food containing any level of fat (small portion of baked sweet potato, salmon, nuts) my digestive system speeds right up and I get bulky soft yellow stools. Its an improvement on before because they are no longer loose and don't smell, but my insides are always sore and achy afterwards for a few days, and I have go to back onto the simple, no fat diet to get over it.

Is this normal for the healing process? I had thought that my insides would heal quite quickly as I have not suffered from the classic celiac symptoms like many of you, but this seems not to be the case.

Also I have a firm and sizeable lump in my groin (very low down and in the middle) which is new and tender but not painful. I can't find anything on the internet which seems to fit. Does anyone have any ideas?

I haven't been back to the Rheumatologist yet, but am due to go soon for a review, but don't wish to go until I feel more certain about what is normal celiac recovery and what might not be, so I don't moan unneccessarily about things.

Any thoughts on this from anyone would be really helpful.

Best wishes to you all.

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You still could be having problems with digestion. I get fat malabsorption anytime I am glutened. It also could be your body is still sensitive and needing to heal. Celiac can mess with your digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas. I took creon(a RX pancreatic enzyme) for awhile and ate a very simple diet. After about three months I didn't need it anymore. I do take it when I get glutened though since the fat malabsorption returns when that happens. You also could have an issue with your gallbladder. Many people with celiac have problems with it also. There are over the counter digestive enzymes you can purchase, but I found that while they did help, they were not strong enough. As for the lump in the groin is could be an enlarged lymph node. I would suggest getting it checked.

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You still could be having problems with digestion. I get fat malabsorption anytime I am glutened. It also could be your body is still sensitive and needing to heal. Celiac can mess with your digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas. I took creon(a RX pancreatic enzyme) for awhile and ate a very simple diet. After about three months I didn't need it anymore. I do take it when I get glutened though since the fat malabsorption returns when that happens. You also could have an issue with your gallbladder. Many people with celiac have problems with it also. There are over the counter digestive enzymes you can purchase, but I found that while they did help, they were not strong enough. As for the lump in the groin is could be an enlarged lymph node. I would suggest getting it checked.

Thanks Roda. I'm not familiar with pancreatic and digestive enzymes, but will look for them in our local health store. I'll also look into gallbladder things and mention it to my doctor if it seems neccessary. My doc is now arranging an abdominal scan which will hopefully found out what the lump is. I dont' think it is a lymph node (although painful lymph nodes are one of my symptoms) as I think (and I accept I may be wrong) they are to the left and right side in the lower abdomen, and my lump is in the centre. Anyway we shall see.

Being glutened definitely does not help with the fat malabsorbtion, as I think I have been glutened too. Yesterday was odd as that problem came first, and my first glutening symptoms usually seem to be extreme tiredness, stomach pain, and maybe a burning rash a bit later. That didn't follow until later on yesterday, and am still dragging myself around today with a burning face and arms. It is so hard to figure out if it is a food CC issue, another intolerance, or an environment CC issue. I think I will have to be careful in adding in new foods more slowly when I am feeling a bit better, to help me figure it out. It's hard though.

Thank you for your support.

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